On Saturday night, Fighters Only was able to put a few questions to UFC president Dana White after the FUEL 7 event had concluded at Londonâs Wembley Arena.
One of them concerned Josh Barnett, who had turned down an offer to fight in the heavyweight division just a few days before.
White wasnât perturbed by the refusal; he said that Barnett is âhis own manâ who tends to âfly by the seat of his pantsâ and has his own ideas about his career.
The UFC president also revealed that Barnett had been offered former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos as his first opponent of the new contract.
A win would have put Barnett âin the mixâ, as White was fond of saying until recently, but now it appears the mix will elude him altogether.
Barnett has since put out a statement.
"I was excited to fight [Dos Santos]. I thought he was a very favorable matchup for me, but Zuffa was unwilling to give me something that they gave Eddie Alvarez. No disrespect to Eddie, but I felt it was fair to give it to me as well.â
The âsomethingâ wasnât specified but is very likely to be âa pay-per-view sales cutâ. Alvarez, the former Bellator FC lightweight champion, probably got offered this because it aided the UFCâs offer against Bellator.
Barnett has no such bargaining chip. Strikeforce has gone under and he is without a home. The UFC doesnât have to bid against anyone for his services and so the offer he has been made may well be of the âtake it or leave itâ variety.
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